• South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks
  • Custer, SD, USA
  • Jun 08, 2018
Full time Biology - Ecology Communication - Public Outreach Environmental Education - Interpretation Management

Job Description

Custer State Park with over 71,000 acres provides varied and diverse year-round opportunities for enjoyment. Custer State Park is well known nationally and draws visitors in excess of 1.9 million annually. The quality and nature of visitor’s experience, their perception of Custer State Park and their willingness to return for future visits are all influenced by the their experiences at the visitor centers and historic sites of the park. The interpretive program operates two visitor centers, one outdoor education center, and two historical sites.

The park naturalist will assist other staff by performing a variety of duties such as developing, schedules, conducts, and directs others presenting environmental and nature education courses and workshops; designs and produces interpretive exhibits and displays; and recruits, trains, and retains volunteers to make presentations and conduct classes and workshops encouraging Game, Fish and Parks facility use. 

Additionally, the park naturalist will present interactive, creative, age-appropriate, onsite and offsite environmental educational programs throughout the year, as well as develop new and innovative programing for the park.

This position would be expected to develop educational courses by planning and writing scripts, preparing lesson outlines, and preparing displays and exhibits to enhance the opportunities offered including but not limited to:

  • researches sources to develop materials supporting course development;
  • plans and directs the production of informational newsletters and brochures;
  • interprets natural features, flora, and fauna;
  • researches and develops plans for reorganization, refitting, and enhancement of interpretive activities and classes;
  • researches and develops plans for execution of new interpretive activities and classes;
  • develops youth training which complies with state curriculum requirements;
  • prepares policies for implementation of programming;
  • trains interns to develop and prepare lesson plans, lesson guides, and narratives and to organize training materials;
  • documents courses through photography and reports, and maintains photo and narrative archives.

This position will also assist in presenting a large number and variety of field trips to surrounding schools. The naturalist would develop schedules for workshops, exhibits, and interpretive activities to ensure the availability of classes at effective times.

The naturalist would also assist fellow naturalist in conducting workshops, nature walks, and tours to local visitors and schools. Programs would include but are not limited to:

  • lecture, demonstrate, and monitor attendees as they perform skills;
  • conducts tours, cross country and aquatic activities;
  • present interpretive slides, displays, and activities for varied public groups;
  • operate projectors, recorders, and cameras;
  • answer the public’s questions about wildlife, hunting, fishing and nature;
  • organizes Project Wild, Project WET, and Project Learning Tree Workshops for educators.

This naturalist position would also be responsible for maintaining the visitor centers and other buildings. Items would include: 

  • overseeing brochure stand stocking;
  • oversee facility and displays cleaning;
  • schedules reception area staff;
  • directs the staff in customer service operations and statistics gathering;
  • organizes or oversees the organization of training scheduled for the center;
  • oversees or conducts mammal, fowl, insect, and reptile feeding, medical treatment, grooming, and cage cleaning;
  • prepares and forwards center statistics and reports.

If you possess a National Career Readiness Certificate, please submit the certificate with your application. For more information on how to acquire a National Career Readiness Certificate contact a South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation Job Service Office. A certificate is not necessary to be considered. 

The Ideal Candidate Will Have:

A bachelor’s degree in Interpretation, education, environmental sciences, biology or related fields is preferred.  

Knowledge of:

  • principles and practices of interpretive programming;
  • computer systems;
  • social media platforms;
  • digital long distance learn programs.
  • adobe Suite programs;
  • the operation of varied audio visual equipment and computer assisted presentation systems.

Skill to:

  • strong leadership skills, including motivation, team building and supervision;
  • well-developed organizational and time management skills;
  • strong interpersonal skills – problem solving, mediation and team building skills, strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • strong writing skills and proven ability to write and edit materials for public audiences;
  • provide great customer service and training;
  • teach children about environmental education.

Ability to: 

  • build and present new and innovative programs that are in line with park's mission;
  • communicate information clearly and concisely;
  • supervise seasonal and volunteer employees;
  • deal tactfully with others;
  • make timely and accurate decisions;
  • work in fast paced environment; 
  • work within a team environment. 


The State of South Dakota offers paid employee health insurance plus ten paid holidays, generous vacation leave accrual, and medical, dental, vision, and other benefits. For more information visit

Close Date 06/22/2018

Apply at:  
South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources  
500 East Capitol  
Pierre, SD 57501-5070  
Telephone: 605.773.3148 Fax: 605.773.4344

"An Equal Opportunity Employer"

Remember to say you found this opportunity at


Government- State/Provincial


$16.61 - $21.60 per hour, depending on experience